Ring Road construction is crucial for urbanisation

The Cambodian government has recently paid significant attention to building more infrastructure – especially on the outskirts of Phnom Penh - to ease traffic jams in the capital where high-rise buildings and the population have seen dramatic growth.



A focus for the authorities has been to develop a ring road that would divert traffic and encourage more development on the outskirts. The second ring road now underway is costing approximately USD72 million and is set for completion by 2019.



This second ring road will run 16.67km across two lanes from Russian Federation Blvd to National Road No.2 across the districts of Dangkor, Sen Sok and Meanchey heading south to Takmao town.  Built with 20-cm thick concrete it will be 23m wide with a 1.5 mm drainage system on both sides.



In addition, a third ring road is also expected to commence building sometime in 2018. Working discussion on the plans for the road are now complete, and once built the outer ring road will connect to National Roads No.1, 2, 3, 4 and heading to National Road No. 5.



The first ring road is excluded from these plans, Ministry of Publ;ic Works and Transport spokesman Va Simsorya told Construction and Property Magazine late December. “The ring road is counted from second, and we will build more ring roads,” he said. 



According to Mr. Sorya, the ring road is connected from one corridor to another, and it is important for reducing congestion in the inner city. 



During the opening of the first phase of the second ring road in early March 2017—connecting Russian Federation Boulevard and National Road 5 in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district - ground was also broken to start construction on phase two and Prime Minister Hun Sen asked China to help pay for new bridges across the upper and lower Mekong River in Phnom Penh as part of the ring road project aimed at reducing traffic.


“To build the real ring road, we have to construct one bridge between Chroy Changva peninsula and Svay Chrum commune in Kandal province, and the second across the lower Mekong in Kandal province between the areas of Arey Ksat and Prek Takuy,” said Prime Minister Hun Sen. 

Cambodia needs USD9bn to be invested into 850 kilometres of roadways by 2020, according to a study by Henan Provincial Communications Planning Survey and Design Institute (HPCPSDI) that is behind Cambodia's expressway development master plant. 

Li Qiang, chief engineer at HPCPSDI, said that to build and improve a modern transport network, covering the whole nation, connecting every province and city, SEZs, resource-exploitation areas, tourist regions, essential ports, docks, airports and other areas, there first needs to be a a reasonable  and scientifically developed plan.

The study went beyond the 2020 deadline to reveal that by 2040, Cambodia would need 2,230km of roads costing up to USD26bn, including a ring road around Phnom Penh and six expressways connecting the provinces.  Although much emphasis was put on the scientific methods used to arrive at the infrastructure requirements, no data were presented to support the plan.

The World Bank published a report in late December on “Urban Planning Can Improve Quality of Life and Opportunities in Phnom Penh” which suggested that Cambodia should invest in sustainable urban infrastructure to enhance livability and competitiveness, and implement inclusive policies to curtail inequality.

"Well-planned cities allow the socio-economic benefits of urbanization to be fully harnessed and can create vibrant, livable, urban spaces. This is fully possible for Phnom Penh, but it will be a long-term process and will require a strong commitment from government, citizens and the private sector" the report stated. 

Yeok K. Foo, project director of Grand Phnom Penh International City said that the ring road is very important for accessing the outskirts of town and encouraging citizen to live out there.  

The Grand Phnom Penh International City, one of several satellite cities, is being developed along Hanoi Street, which is where the second ring road extends in Phase 1. 

“The reason we are building more apartments is because demand has been on the rise since the extension of Hanoi Road, with prices increasing since we launched the earlier phases two years ago,” Mr Foo said.

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